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The Indigenous Counselling Framework (ICF) for school counselling in Singapore
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Lee, B. O. (1999). The Indigenous Counselling Framework (ICF) for school counselling in Singapore. In S. P. Loo (Ed.), Proceeds of the MERA-ERA Joint conference 1999: Educational Challenges in the New Millennium (pp. 900-906). Malacca, Malaysia.
The Indigenous Counselling Framework (ICF) was derived from an empirical study
conducted in Singapore. It provides a culturally relevant framework for counselling with
Singaporean students. The ICF is based on two premises. Firstly, counselling is originated from
Western culture and its belief systems about the cause and treatment of psychological problems
may not be consistent with those of the Singaporean clients. When counselling with students,
teacher-counsellors should be aware of their students’ perceptions about psychological
problems. They have to match counselling modalities (e.g., psychodynamic, cognitivebehavioural,
humanistic, or religious-spiritual models) with the students’ beliefs because more
positive outcomes in counselling may come about through converging the counsellor’s and
client’s belief systems. Secondly, a holistic counselling approach is culturally more appropriate
in the Singapore context. The ICF, which perceives individual’s problems in a larger context,
consists of several interdependent systems: the person, immediate family system, extended
family system, micro-social system, macro-social system, and natural-ecological system. All
systems are inter-related to each other; changes or disturbances in one system may lead to
changes and disturbances in another. As adolescents’ concerns are always related to their
families, peer groups, and schools; the ICF will provide teacher-counsellors with a more
comprehensive picture for planning intervention programmes
This paper was published in the 1999 Proceedings of the MERA-ERA Joint Conference held at Malacca, Malaysia from 1-3 December 1999
Appears in Collections:Conference Papers

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